• Wings and Things

    I was subjected to airplanes at an early age. My father had a number of planes starting with a Piper Cub and moving on to a Cessna 195, Engineering Research 415c Ercoupes, a Tri-Pacer, and several Piper Cherokees including a Cherokee 6. They were all cool in their own way and learning to fly them (when I wasn't mowing the runway) was an adventure. The 195 was a massive radial-engined taildragger impossible to see out of when taxiing. The Ercoupes were all-metal, low-wing, tricycle gear, twin-tailed marvels like a miniature B-25.

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  • Constant Curve

    Lately, I've been seeing a number of inflatable kites on the market with highly angular segmented leading edge tubes and considerable canopy distortion at the joints. Some have only a minimum number of segments (only 1 or 2) between struts which exaggerates their visibility. To me, this just seems wrong. But, I see little if any talk of it at the beach or in internet discussions about the merits of one kite over another. It is as though most kiters just do not notice it or if they do, don't see it as a problem.

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  • Fact or Fiction?

    Some will see this week's blog as a rant. So be it.

    I like to read the forums to stay abreast of rider feedback, not only for Switch products, but more general subjects of all types plus all sorts of cool videos and pics.

    I'm sure most of the advice and opinions, based on personal experience, are given in an honest effort to inform others. Clearly many posts are biased and even promotional for a particular product and that is to be expected. What really bothers me is when they are just downright erroneous but appear to be fact.

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  • Nitro3 Development

    I have always believed design should be directed at purpose. For kites, that means ultimate performance for the intended activity. I have also, since early sailing days, firmly believed upwind ability is the mark of performance for most any exclusively wind-driven craft.

    Clearly it is an advantage for numerous reasons not the least of which is safety and convenience. In reality, upwind ability is a matter of degree and as it improves, becomes more difficult to achieve. A challenge of detail and precision often with hidden secrets only found through trying unusual combinations of parameters.

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